CDC: Josie’s Organics baby spinach linked to E. coli outbreak

Credit: David Paul Morris

Credit: David Paul Morris

Ten people have been infected with E. coli in seven states, including Ohio, linked to baby spinach, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC issued a food safety alert Monday night urging people not to eat or serve Josie’s Organics baby spinach with a best by date of Oct. 23, 2021, that is packaged in plastic clamshell containers.

The multistate outbreak was reported in Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and South Dakota; however, the baby spinach was distributed nationwide.

The true number of illnesses is likely higher, and the outbreak may not be limited to the seven states with known illnesses, because most people recover without medical care and are not tested for E. coli, according to the alert.

Investigators are working to determine whether additional products are contaminated, according to the CDC alert.

What you should do

Do not eat any contaminated spinach. Throw it away or return it to the place of purchase, even if some of it has been eaten and no one has gotten sick.

Wash all items and surfaces that may have touched the contaminated spinach using hot soapy water or a dishwasher.

Contact a health care provider if you have any of these severe E. coli symptoms:

  • Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Diarrhea for more than three days that is not improving
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down
  • Signs of dehydration, such as: not urinating much; dry mouth and throat; and feeling dizzy when standing up.

E. coli symptoms

Symptoms of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infection vary for each person, but often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. Some people have a fever, which usually is not very high (less than 101 degrees F).

Most people start to feel sick three to four days after swallowing the bacteria.

Most people recover without treatment after five to seven days.

Some people may develop a type of kidney failure (hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS) and would need to be hospitalized.

For more information about E. coli, visit the E. coli Q&A page.

Anyone with questions about the cases reported in Ohio should call the Ohio Department of Health, 614-466-3543.

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